Dissecting Inter Miami: vs Nashville SC
Short-handed? No problem. Inter Miami managed to pick up a valuable point on the road. Let's dissect.
photo credit: Inter Miami CF
Inter Miami continued their run of good form by sneaking an away point against Nashville SC.
The team was without the offensive firepower of Federico and Gonzalo Higuain, Robbie Robinson, and Julian Carranza.
They may have been short-handed, but, getting points on the road can make or break your season in a league like MLS.
How did they do it? Let’s dissect.
Well. It certainly wasn’t pretty.
Because of the absences, Phil Neville had to change up his starting XI a bit:
Pizarro started at center forward, Jay Chapman came in for Robbie Robinson and Victor Ulloa got his first start of the season at the attacking midfielder spot.
Offensively, well, Inter Miami didn’t do much. Lewis Morgan was the best attacking threat the team had on the pitch that day.
The Scotland international completed the most dribbles in the match (3,) had three total shots, and created two chances.
Based on WhoScored’s positional report, Inter Miami mainly attacked down the right, with 41% of the team’s offensive actions coming through Morgan’s side:
Other than that, not much happened. Neville even acknowledged that the team struggled:
Chapman had a solid game with one shot on goal and an 87% pass completion rate, and Ulloa did his best playing as a number 10. Miami’s attack was largely unproductive on the day.
Defensively, Inter Miami had their best game. Not only did they keep the clean sheet, but Ryan Shawcross showed why Neville was so eager to bring him into the club.
The 33-year-old had seven clearances, five interceptions, two recoveries, and completed 89% of his passes.
He brought a calmness to Miami’s backline, something that was missing last season. His height and physicality completed neutralized Nashville’s starting center forward Jhonder Cadiz. The Englishman’s debut performance earned him MOTM and will most likely see him start against Atlanta United tomorrow.
Not to be outdone, his center-back partner Leandro Gonzalez Pirez also held his own against a very good attacking Nashville front four.
LGP had five recoveries, two interceptions, and three clearances, he also won six of his nine duels.
If Nico Figal is out for longer than we expect, we could see Gonzalez Pirez and Shawcross form a formidable partnership.
Speaking of Figal, unfortunately, due to a muscle injury he suffered during the warmup, Neville was forced to make a change at right-back.
Although it was unexpected, Kelvin Leerdam quietly had his best game in an Inter Miami shirt. He wasn’t going to start, but when called upon he did a phenomenal job. The 31-year-old had six recoveries, won two aerial duels, had six clearances, and completed 83% of his passes.
The defense as a whole was outstanding, a clear 180 from the shambolic defending we saw last season.
Tomorrow’s opponent Atlanta United will be just as difficult to play against. But, if Miami’s defense plays the way it did against Nashville, and its offense can find the back of the next the way it did against the Union, the sky is the limit.